Zero tolerance for domestic violence

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We have all witnessed a person being abused, whether it was a neighbour down the street, a child at school, a parent, a sibling or you, at the hands of an abuser!

Abuse is wrong and like all things wrong, it takes on many forms that range from the very physical, emotional, psychological to the heinous sexual.

The concept and reality of abuse has also been studied by educators and scientists to better understand why abuse happens and more so why it has become a pattern of replication, a curse, that is forcefully exerted on those considered ‘weaker’ (be it a mother, daughter, son, baby, toddler, elderly, father, pet, someone disabled or anyone who may not have the capacity to defend themselves in the current circumstance)’ throughout generations.

For anyone abused, being abused is a nightmare. For the abuser, it is the skewed illusion of conquest.

But together we can change the epidemic abuse has become.

There is need for educational strategies on how to deal with a girl, a boy, a woman, a man’s emotion, to be taught at all levels of the education sector starting with pre-school (it may reduce the tantrums) to university (it may reduce the tantrums) in Trinidad and Tobago.

There should be core courses and subject areas that educate our children, young adults, post graduates on how to identify the types of abuse, going back to the basic, ‘my body is nobody’s body but mine… right touch, wrong touch’ so as to equip them with the knowledge and solutions needed to deal with abuse, especially when they become confidants of those in suspected abusive relationships.

There should be a month-long emotional intelligence, anger management and mediation training as a requirement for couples by all Churches/temples before marriage and post seminars that promote a healthy relationship.

There is need for an open discussion and forum in the public domain that promotes a zero-tolerance attitude towards domestic violence and ‘Talk Abuse’ to showcase the impact that abuse has on the individual, child, spouse, family, community and country Trinidad and Tobago.

Wellness Centres should be set up within prenatal hospitals to target new mothers who may also be susceptible to postpartum depression so as to educate them on caring for their newborn and the difference between what is love and what is abuse.

Corporate Trinidad and Tobago should promote a zero tolerance policy towards abuse of any kind and offer to employees training on a consistent basis in emotional intelligence, Crisis Communication with a concentrated focus on self and family, Conflict Management and Mediation strategies so as to strengthen their coping mechanisms when faced with abusive situations and relationships. Covid-19 has made online access now amazingly available.

We all can adopt a zero tolerance towards domestic violence without fighting separate causes. Together we are the solution for there is far more love in this country than there is hate!

Love is not abuse and together we can each one teach one in an effort to save all.

Say no to Abuse….and to the abusers we say…NO More!

Victoria Claxton